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caption: Yellow flags over the garden's empty community dining area bear the names of donors who've funded the garden's effort to save itself from development.
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Yellow flags over the garden's empty community dining area bear the names of donors who've funded the garden's effort to save itself from development.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Ballard P-patch celebrates fundraising success, but it may not be enough

Gardeners at the Ballard P-Patch say they’re close to saving their community garden from development. But "close" may not be enough.

The effort to save this P-patch started when the church that owns the garden property announced it had to sell it in order to pay for renovations to its church building.

Polly Cook has been a gardener there for 10 years. She says the garden’s important, not just for its open space and sense of community, but because it grows hundreds of pounds of produce for food banks and senior centers.

Polly Cook Ballard P Patch
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“People really love our green onions, and then these are newly planted beans. And swiss chard, which we grow up on the bank, and we’re going to have pumpkins and squash coming soon,” Cook said, gesturing to a few of the garden's many plots dedicated to growing food for people in need.

That output is impressive given the fierce competition from rabbits, whose population has, for unknown reasons, exploded during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gardeners have raised most of the $2 million required to purchase the property. Government grants and private donations will cover the bulk of the cost. But they’re still $300,000 short. And to secure the bridge loan that will free up the money while they wait for those promised grants to come in, every penny of the purchase price must be promised from someone, gardeners said.

They must raise it by July 29 or plead with the church for more time.

READ MORE: These gardeners must raise $2M to save their P-Patch

You can find a link to the Ballard P-Patch fundraising campaign here.